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THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 208007. April 2, 2014.]


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES , plaintiff-appellee, vs . RODRIGO
GUTIEREZ Y ROBLES ALIAS "ROD AND JOHN LENNON" , accusedappellant.
DECISION
LEONEN , J :
p

For a measly ve- or ten-peso tip that a 10-year-old child would need for lunch money, a
known acquaintance of their family would destroy a child's dignity by having illicit carnal
knowledge of her. This case involves an act that is so dastardly that it is punished by
Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code as statutory rape which carries a sentence of
reclusion perpetua.
We are asked to review the Court of Appeals decision 1 in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 02955. This
decision af rmed the conviction of the accused-appellant for statutory rape under Article
266-A of the Revised Penal Code and imposed the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
The facts of the case are as follows:
On November 30, 2005, an information 2 was led against the accused-appellant before
the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 59. The information reads:
That on or about November 29, 2005, in the City of Baguio, Philippines, and within
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge of the offended
party, (AAA), who is under twelve (12) years old.
Contrary to law.

cSIHCA

Upon arraignment, Rodrigo Gutierez pleaded "not guilty." Trial on the merits ensued.
The prosecution presented the victim, AAA, who was then 10 years old and a Grade 2
student at Camp 7 Elementary School in Baguio City. She testi ed that on November 29,
2005, she went home from school at around 12 noon to have lunch. 3 On the way home,
she met Rodrigo at his house. He brought her to his room and laid her down on the bed. He
then raised her skirt and removed her panties. He pulled down his pants and then inserted
his penis into her vagina. 4
According to AAA, Rodrigo stayed on top of her for a long time, and when he withdrew his
penis, white liquid came out. He then gave her ve pesos (P5.00) before she went back to
school. 5
AAA went back to school at about 2:10 p.m. Her adviser, Agustina Chapap, asked her
where she came from because she was tardy. AAA initially did not answer. When asked
again why she was tardy, AAA admitted she came from "Uncle Rod." She also admitted that
she went there to ask for money. Chapap then brought AAA to Rona Ambaken, AAA's
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previous teacher. Together, they brought AAA to the principal's of ce. AAA was brought to
the comfort room where Ambaken inspected her panties. The principal was able to
con rm that AAA was touched since AAA's private organ was swelling. Her underwear was
also wet. 6
Another teacher, Jason Dalisdis, then brought AAA to Baguio General Hospital where her
underwear was again inspected. Dr. Anvic Pascua also examined her. On the way to the
hospital, Dalisdis passed by the barangay hall and the police station to report the incident.
7

AAA also disclosed during trial that the accused-appellant had done the same thing to her
about 10 times on separate occasions. After each act, he would give her ten (P10.00) or
five (P5.00) pesos. 8
The prosecution also presented Dr. Asuncion Ogues as an expert witness. Dr. Ogues was
the superior of Dr. Pascua who examined AAA. Dr. Ogues testi ed based on the medical
certificate issued by the examining physician that there was blunt force penetrating trauma
that could have been caused by sexual abuse. She also stated that there was another
medico-legal certi cate issued by Dr. Carag, surgical resident of the Department of
Surgery of Baguio General Hospital, showing findings of some hematoma in AAA's legs. 9
In his defense, Rodrigo denied that AAA went to his house at 12 noon on November 29,
2005 and claimed he was already at work at 1:30 p.m. He has known AAA for a long time
since his family rented the house of AAA's grandfather from 2001 to 2004. 1 0 When the
police came and asked him if he knew AAA, he answered in the af rmative. He was then
brought to Baguio General Hospital where he was told that AAA identi ed him as the one
who raped her. 1 1
Rodrigo admitted that he had a relationship with AAA's sister, and they even lived together
as common-law spouses. 1 2 He also admitted that a similar complaint was led against
him by AAA's mother when AAA was eight years old, but they settled the case at the
barangay level. 1 3
On July 4, 2007, the trial court rendered a judgment 1 4 nding Rodrigo guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of statutory rape and imposing on him the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
He was additionally required to indemnify the offended party P50,000.00 moral damages
and P25,000.00 exemplary damages with costs of suit.
Rodrigo appealed 1 5 to the Court of Appeals claiming that AAA's testimony fell short of the
requirement of the law on the quantum of evidence required. He argued that she did not
cry for help when her family's house was just nearby, which was cause for reasonable
doubt that the trial court failed to appreciate.
aITDAE

On February 28, 2013, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision 1 6 af rming the
conviction.
On March 11, 2013, Rodrigo led a notice of appeal 1 7 with the appellate court, which was
given due course in a resolution 1 8 dated March 15, 2013.
Hence, this appeal was instituted.
In the resolution 1 9 of September 9, 2013, this court required the parties to submit their
respective supplemental briefs, if they so desired. Both parties, however, manifested that
they were dispensing with the ling of a supplemental brief as their arguments were
already substantially and exhaustively discussed in their respective briefs led before the
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appellate court.
The only issue to be resolved by this court is whether the prosecution was able to prove
beyond reasonable doubt that the accused-appellant was guilty of statutory rape
punishable under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code.
Rape is defined in Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, which states:
Art. 266-A. Rape: When and How Committed. Rape is committed:
1. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances:
a. Through force, threat, or intimidation;
b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
c. By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
d. When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even
though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
xxx xxx xxx

Statutory rape is committed when (1) the offended party is under 12 years of age and (2)
the accused has carnal knowledge of her, regardless of whether there was force, threat or
intimidation; whether the victim was deprived of reason or consciousness; or whether it
was done through fraud or grave abuse of authority. It is enough that the age of the victim
is proven and that there was sexual intercourse.

People v. Teodoro 2 0 explained the elements of statutory rape committed under Article
266-A, paragraph (1) (d):
Rape under paragraph 3 of this article is termed statutory rape as it departs from
the usual modes of committing rape. What the law punishes in statutory rape is
carnal knowledge of a woman below twelve (12) years old. Thus, force,
intimidation and physical evidence of injury are not relevant considerations; the
only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and whether carnal knowledge
took place. The law presumes that the victim does not and cannot have a will of
her own on account of her tender years; the child's consent is immaterial because
of her presumed incapacity to discern good from evil. (Emphasis supplied)

The defense did not dispute the fact that AAA was 10 years old at the time of the incident.
Her birth certi cate was presented before the trial court. 2 1 What is critical in this case,
therefore, is whether there is a showing that Rodrigo had carnal knowledge of AAA.
HaEcAC

In the testimony of AAA, she narrated that on November 29, 2005, she met Rodrigo in his
house, thus:
Q: Now, when you met the accused, what did he do?
A: He brought me in the room, Ma'am.
Q: The room is located inside his house?
A: Yes, Ma'am.
Q: And, was that the first time you entered the room?
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A: (The witness nods.)


Q: After entering the room, what did Uncle Rod tell you?
A: He laid me down, Ma'am.
COURT:
Q: Where?
A: On the bed, Ma'am.
PROS. BERNABE:
Q: Who were the persons inside the room aside from you and Uncle Rod?
A: (Witness shook her head meaning no persons around.)
Q: After lying down on the bed, what did he do next?
A: He raised up my skirt.
Q: After raising up your skirt, what else did he do?
A: He removed my panty, Ma'am.
Q: Was he able to remove it from your legs your panty? [sic]
A: No, Ma'am.
Q: Until where was he able to remove?
A: (Witness is pointing down to the ankle.)
Q: After pulling down your panty until your ankle, what happened?
A: He pulled down his short pants, Ma'am.
Q: After pulling down his short pants, what did Uncle Rod do?
A: He brought out his penis.
Q: After bringing out his penis, what did he do next?
A: He inserted his penis to my vagina, Ma'am.
Q: Will you please show us where is your vagina?
A: (The witness stood and pointed to her private part.)
Q: You also mentioned AAA that Uncle Rod inserted his penis to your vagina,
could you point to the "ari" of Uncle Rod?
A: (The witness pointed to a portion where the private part of the elder brother was
standing.)
Q: Was it painful when Uncle Rod inserted his penis inside your vagina?
A: Yes, Ma'am.

DSEIcT

Q: Did you cry when Uncle Rod inserted his penis inside your vagina?
A: Yes, Ma'am.
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Q: Did he stay long on top of you? At around how many minutes?


A: Very long, Ma'am.
Q: Did he withdraw his penis from your vagina?
A: Yes, Ma'am.
Q: And after he withdrew his penis inside your vagina, what happened?
A: There is some white liquid that came out of his penis, Ma'am. 2 2

As shown by her testimony, AAA was able to narrate in a clear and categorical manner the
ordeal that was done to her. As a child-victim who has taken significant risks in coming to
court, her testimony deserves full weight and credence. People v. Veloso 2 3 stated that:
In a litany of cases, this Court has ruled that the testimonies of child-victims of
rape are to be given full weight and credence. Reason and experience dictate that
a girl of tender years, who barely understands sex and sexuality, is unlikely to
impute to any man a crime so serious as rape, if what she claims is not true. Her
candid narration of how she was raped bears the earmarks of credibility,
especially if no ill will as in this case motivates her to testify falsely against
the accused. It is well-settled that when a woman, more so when she is a minor,
says she has been raped, she says in effect all that is required to prove the
ravishment. The accused may thus be convicted solely on her testimony
provided it is credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and
the normal course of things. 2 4

AAA's ordeal was supported by the testimonies of her teachers whose concern for her led
to the discovery of the crime. The medical certi cate presented in court, together with the
testimonies of the physicians, is consistent with the finding that she was sexually abused.
Rodrigo asserted that AAA's failure to cry out for help shows reasonable doubt. He noted
that her house was just near his house where the incident happened.
This argument is so feeble that it could only have been put up out of desperation.
Rodrigo was referred to by the child-victim as "Uncle Rod." He admitted that AAA's family
had known him for a long time. Rodrigo had the trust and respect that any elder in the
family of AAA had. Instead of providing the moral guidance that his status allowed him, he
took advantage of AAA's youthful innocence to satiate his illicit carnal desires. To cover
this up and seemingly justify his actions, he gave his child-victim the measly sum of ve
pesos. Rodrigo knew that what he did was wrong; AAA would have probably doubted
whether such act was normal among adults.
With his moral ascendancy, it would not be unreasonable to assume that even the childvictim's desire for help would be muf ed by her fear of her "Uncle Rod." To a young 10year-old, the ordinary world can be daunting. To be so young and silently aware that one is
the victim of such callous depravation by Rodrigo, who she could have expected to take
care of her, can create the kind of lasting fear that diminishes the development of her own
person and her own convictions.
In any case, whether she cried for help is immaterial in a charge of statutory rape since "
[t]he law presumes that such a victim, on account of her tender age, does not and cannot
have a will of her own." 2 5
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Beyond reasonable doubt, Rodrigo Gutierez raped AAA, a minor who was only 10 years of
age, on November 29, 2005.
AICTcE

Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code requires that the penalty of reclusion perpetua
shall be imposed in cases of rape stated in the first paragraph of Article 266-A where there
are no aggravating or qualifying circumstances present. The lower courts correctly
imposed this penalty.
Their award of damages, however, must be modified in light of recent jurisprudence.
It is settled that the award of civil indemnity is mandatory upon a nding that rape was
committed, along with the award of moral and exemplary damages. 2 6 In People v. Degay ,
2 7 the accused-appellant was found guilty of raping his nine-year-old neighbor. This court
did not hesitate to increase the award of civil indemnity and moral damages from
P50,000.00 to P75,000.00. In People v. Gambao , 2 8 we have also increased the award of
civil indemnity, moral damages, and exemplary damages to P100,000.00 each.
Due to the utter heinousness of the crime involved in this case, we, therefore, exercise our
judicial prerogative and increase the damages to P100,000.00 as civil indemnity,
P100,000.00 as moral damages, and P100,000.00 as exemplary damages.
There are not enough words to condemn the depravity that one adult can do to a childvictim. The many years that Rodrigo Gutierez will, by law, serve in prison will, of course, not
make up for the wrong and the injury that he has so sel shly and callously caused and with
utter disregard for what truly makes us human: that we care, nurture, and protect our
children because we hope that they can make their world better than ours. All this was lost
on Rodrigo Gutierez. The ve pesos that he gave on every occasion that he de led his
child-victim simply underscores the ignominy of his act.
WHEREFORE , the decision of the Court of Appeals nding the accused-appellant Rodrigo
Gutierez y Robles guilty beyond reasonable doubt of statutory rape is AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION . The accused-appellant is sentenced to reclusion perpetua and is
ordered to pay AAA the amount of P100,000.00 as civil indemnity, P100,000.00 as moral
damages, and P100,000.00 as exemplary damages, with an interest of 6% per annum from
the finality of this decision until its full satisfaction.
EDCIcH

SO ORDERED.

Velasco, Jr., Abad, Reyes, * and Perlas-Bernabe, ** JJ., concur.


Footnotes

* Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes was designated as Acting Member of the Third Division, vice
Justice Diosdado M. Peralta per raffle dated August 5, 2013.
** Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe was designated as Acting Member of the Third
Division, vice Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, per Special Order No. 1656 dated
March 27, 2014.
1. Rollo, pp. 2-14.
2. Rollo, Court of Appeals, p. 13.
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3. Id. at 45-46.
4. Id. at 46.
5. Rollo, p. 3.
6. Rollo, Court of Appeals, p. 47.
7. Id. at 48.
8. Rollo, p. 4.
9. Rollo, Court of Appeals, p. 49.
10. Id. at 50.
11. Rollo, p. 6.
12. Id.
13. Id. at 7.
14. Rollo, Court of Appeals, pp. 44-57.
15. Id. at 83-94.
16. Per Tenth Division, penned by J. Gacutan, and concurred in by J. Lampas-Peralta and J.
Acosta.
17. Rollo, Court of Appeals, p. 159.
18. Id. at 163.
19. Rollo, p. 20.
20. G.R. No. 175876, February 20, 2013, 691 SCRA 324 [Per J. Bersamin, First Division], also
cited in People v. Vergara, G.R. No. 199226, January 15, 2014 [Per J. Leonardo-de Castro,
First Division].
21. See Regional Trial Court judgment, p. 45.
22. TSN, June 22, 2006, pp. 9-11; rollo, pp. 9-11.
23. G.R. No. 188849, February 13, 2013, 690 SCRA 586 [Per J. Leonardo-de Castro, First
Division].
24. Id. at 597, citing People v. Salazar, G.R. No. 181900, October 20, 2010, 634 SCRA 307, 318319 [Per J. Velasco, Jr., First Division].
25. People v. Bagos, G.R. No. 177152, January 6, 2010, 610 SCRA 1, 15 [Per J. Leonardo-de
Castro, First Division], citing People v. Malones, 469 Phil. 301, 325-326 (2004) [Per J.
Callejo, Sr., Second Division].
26. See People v. Teodoro, G.R. No. 175876, February 20, 2013, 691 SCRA 324, 345-346 [Per J.
Bersamin, First Division].
27. G.R. No. 182526, August 25, 2010, 629 SCRA 409 [Per J. Perez, First Division].
28. G.R. No. 172707, October 1, 2013 [Per J. Perez, En Banc].

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